Friday, October 30, 2009

Are you listening?

Laundry day.  My non-digital basement televangelist tells me, "Don't you know that you already know everything you know?"  Ok, I'm intrigued...he goes on as I press the touch up button on the dryer.  "So, if you're set to flappin' your gums all the time, you ain't learnin' a thing."

I love it.  It's so true.  Shut up and listen as much as possible, Julie.  I can't have too many reminders.

I've been doing a lot of listening the past few weeks.  It's been essential for my friend that I listen acutely.... and give thoughtful and crucial guidance... and above all, stick by her faithfully and unquestioningly even when some days it has seemed as if I was risking pieces of myself.  Emotional risk, messy history and heartbreakingly high stakes.  But my energy and devotion are received regularly with such gratefulness that I feel guilty at once as she thanks me yet again.  During personal crises without clear answers, friends will often run for their garages and punch in the lockdown code after dropping off the odd banana bread at the doors of the accursed.  But in the end a friend or two stay behind and get down in the mud and this time it's me.  I am relieved to know I have the juice to be this kind of friend.  I am empowered by it and the world scares me a little less as a result.

It's an especially beautiful autumn in southern Wisconsin.  I can't remember the colors being so vivid right outside the front door.  Mostly the days have been rainy so when a blue sky day comes along, it makes me appreciate the colors that much more.  The bright yellow and sky blue together.  Quite an extraordinary color pairing that wouldn't be anyone's choice of room colors but work together outside the confines of walls.

A long weekend brings about our first college visit.  Touring Northwestern, eerily I kept catching glimpses of a baffled-looking middle aged woman's reflection in windows across campus....trailing my daughter's reflection.  So weird.

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